Sunday, July 11, 2010

Monday Movie Meme - Hidden Gems


This week, the Bumbles have a guest host for the Monday Movie Meme - Terry Kate from Romance in the Backseat. Terry Kate would like us to share our favorite movies that have been overlooked or under appreciated by the public and critics.

I think you will find that most of my gems have a Polish slant to them, as my husband is Polish and we tend to seek these films out. But not all of them! Here are a few that come to mind:

Repulsion - This is a 1965 film directed by Roman Polanski, and was recently remastered and re-released. It was Polanski's first English language film and stars Catherine Deneuve, who plays a young woman descending into madness. This is some awesomely sick and twisted stuff people. My husband and I were making faces and noises of repulsion throughout the movie (which for us is a sign that we loved it!)

Ikiru - A delightful Japanese movie filmed in 1952, we see a grumpy middle-aged man try to make sense and purpose of his life in his last days on earth.

The Best of Youth - Originally a mini-series on Italian television, this is an amazing six hour epic that follows two brothers from their childhoods through adulthood. We were blown away by the acting, the reflection of critical events of Italian history, and the touching and heartbreaking inter-relationships between family and friends.

Strike - This film is based on the life of a Polish woman who worked in the Gdansk shipyards and played a critical role in the strike that helped birth Solidarity. The cherry on top of this one is the soundtrack by Jean-Michele Jarre, whose music inspires you to want to rise up, pump your fist and praise those who had the guts to fight for their freedom.

Poisoned By Polonium: The Litivinenko File - We're not really big fans of the Russian government in our home. We've got excess baggage that stems back for a few generations. Watching this movie gave us just one more reason. Prepare to be horrified when you watch this highly controversial documentary of an ex-Russian spy blow the whistle on Putin and his minions, then slowly die of toxic poisoning. The level of corruption chills your blood.

Movies directed by Andrzej Wajda - I was going to list a few of our favorites, but we love them all. This man started his career in 1955 by directing an amazing movie titled "The Generation", and filmed countless movies about the Polish involvement in WWII as recently as 2007 with "Katyn". Other masterpieces are "Ashes and Diamonds" and "Kanal".

Movies directed by Hayao Miyazaki - I mentioned this last week, but it is worth mentioning again. This man is genius with animation in a way that is all his own. All of his movies tend to focus on man's inter-relationship with spirits and nature, and feature strong female protagonists. If you want to try just one to see if it is your thing, try Spirited Away. It is nothing short of magical.


I probably should have tried to branch out a little more and find some movies that were just good old fashioned indies, but maybe I'll save that for another day!



19 comments:

Literary Feline said...

I haven't heard of any of those, I'm afraid. Overlooked and under appreciated is right.

Nymeth said...

Miyazaki is an absolute genius, yes. I can't get enough of his movies. Spirited Away might not be a book, but it embodies pretty much everything I love about fantasy.

Susan said...

Obviously I will have to broaden my horizons, because I haven't seen any of these or heard of them. You do like some of your movies sick and twisted, sister...I love that about you!

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I read the book about Litivinenko - it was really interesting. At the time the book was written they still didn't understand how the polonium got transferred out.

Trisha said...

Awesomely sick and twisted is my cup of tea as well. It's so nice to know someone else who likes the more eccentric and unknown of movies.

caite said...

yes. certainly hidden since I have not heard of a one of them.
But I just can't watch Roman Polanski movies anymore..or Woody Allen's. They just creep me out and I hate to support them.

Not quite as hidden, but a small movie I am always pushing is The Secret of Roam Inish.

Iliana said...

I've not seen any of these films but I need to take note. I love indies and foreign films!

Lindsey said...

Like many people posting here, I haven't heard of any of these either. Therefore, I will most definitely have to check these out! Thank you so much for suggesting these :)

bermudaonion said...

Those have all been overlooked by me too!

Zibilee said...

I have never heard of these movies, but am going to be adding a few of them to my Netflix queue! One of the best underrated movies I have ever seen is called Naked Lunch. It's totally bizarre and surreal, but it's a really cool movie. It has a lot in common with Kafka's book Metamorphosis. If you haven't ever seen it, I do recommend it. But be prepared, it's totally weird, and not that suitable for children.

Terry Kate said...

Sweety you kicked my Butt!

I have not seen any though a few sound familiar. Poland has a greatly unappreciated film history that gets ignored when next to its big boy cinema neighbors Germany and Russia.

Killer list and I will have to bone up on Polish cinema.

Terry Kate
Romance in the Backseat

Amy said...

I have heard of Repulsion, Sandy but haven't seen it...yet! I will now. I really like the sound of several of the movies on your list and will be referring to it for quite a while now...or I'll just add your list to my Netflix list!

Thank you!

Lenore said...

I love Spirited Away. I bought Daniel a book about the art in the movie, and we love to look at it together.

heidenkind said...

I've seen a lot of Miyazaki films and absolutely love Spirited Away. But I haven't even heard of any of the others on your list!

Amanda Moore said...

Ikiru looks interesting my college student studies Japanese and would love it as well. I think that Poisoned is the one I would want to see most it's my kind of flick!

Lindsey said...

I haven't seen any of these movies, but that is the point isn't it? Can't wait to start watching.

Alyce said...

These are all new to me. It's fun to realize that there are so many movies out there that I haven't heard of.

Kathleen said...

Thanks for turning me onto to some good ones I can put in my Netflix queue.

The Bumbles said...

Looking forward to being repulsed!!!